Many women have a misconception that SWEAT causes their skin to become congested and cause break-outs during the summer. I want to explain how this is a myth, and shed some light on what the ACTUAL causes might be so you can be better prepared to combat them!
Not everyone knows it, but you have TWO kinds of pores on your face-the kind that produces oil (sebaceous) -which is also the pore out of which hairs grow- and the kind that produces sweat (sudoriferous). They are not connected in any way. The sweat pores rarely ever become clogged–and certainly not with oil, or even the bacteria responsible for causing acne. If you’re like me and need a visual, refer to the image below.
There are a few things you can do, though, to keep your skin smooth in the summer:
1.) When working out, keep “sweat bands” near your hairline overlapping your hair–instead of down on your forehead. It may not catch as much sweat this way, but, the heat, friction, and moisture can cause irritation that can look suspiciously like acne. Sun-visors, baseball caps, and helmets can also cause this same problem.
2.) Use a sunscreen designed for your FACE on your face. Look for one that is “non-comedogenic” or “oil-free”. Many of those designed for the skin on your body have mineral oil bases and other moisturizers which are too heavy for the skin on your face.
3.) Use blotting papers periodically to mop up both sweat and oil causing shine.
4.) Switch to a lighter moisturizer during summer months. Richer creams are best used in the winter, when there is less water in the air–with all the humidity in the summer, light gels or gel-creams may be better-especially if it’s already oily or acne-prone.
5.) Catch some rays. We do recommend protecting your skin from damaging UV rays with a sunscreen, but SOME exposure is still good, according to most doctors. Try going out for just a few minutes at a time sans sunscreen. The UV rays actually have an anti-bacterial affect on the skin. DON’T go overboard though! To safely treat acne, AND get your daily dose of vitamin D try downloading the “Vitamin D Sun Timer” app on your iPhone for $2.99. Bring your phone outside with you and it monitors how long you can safely stay in the sun without damaging levels of exposure. Try it in the morning, when suns’ rays are weaker to minimize risk of damage.
6.) Exfoliate! Try a mild acid or enzyme peel (either professionally, or at-home versions) to whisk away skin cells trapping oil and bacteria inside your follicles, allowing the oil to be properly wicked to the surface of your skin, keeping it supple and moist–as it was meant to be. When skin feels dry in the winter, women remember to exfoliate to make it feel smoother–but when it feels more moist due to the extra water in the air, they forget the OTHER reasons exfoliating is good and slack off a little.